102 posts • joined 26 Jul 2007
an easy solution...
If you put something up for sale on a site, refuse to accept anything other than cash, and don't ship it anywhere until *AFTER* they've paid for both the item(s) AND the shipping. Anything else is just begging for trouble.
If they want to pay via cheque, smile & tell them to go to their bank, withdraw the funds, & come back with cash, otherwise bugger off. They want to use PayPal, Bitcoin, or anything else, smile & tell them that Cash is the only way they'll be leaving with the goods. Because anything besides cash in hand is a boning waiting for a victim.
As for the Banks & cheque processing, if they tell you it takes days to do it, tell them they're full of shite. The same tech that allows the Register Clerk at the grocery store to slide your cheque through the reader & auto-debit your account for the funds *immediately* applies ten-fold to Financial Institutions. That routing number across the bottom includes your account number, and a simple swipe through the reader turns it into the same thing as a Debit Card transaction. The machine sends the routing number, purchase amount, & merchant ID to the institution that issued the cheque. If said institution doesn't exist, the routing number, or account number are wrong, it gets flagged as invalid - No Sale. If the numbers resolve, the institution then checks that the Purchase Amount is actually available in the indicated account. If insufficient funds, then No Sale (or they allow it, but charge the account owner NSF fees) & No Sale. If the funds are there, they are automaticly & immediately deducted from the account & electronicly transferred to the Merchant ID listed in the transaction. All of this happens in under sixty seconds on a congested day, and Financial Institutions have the added benefit of digitally scanning the cheque & sending it along with the transaction data, thus allowing the issuing institution to tell at a glance if it even is one of their instruments. ("Umm... we're the Northern Bank of Belgium, not the NorDern Bnak of Belgeeum.")
That cheque can be processed in less time than it takes to ask the counter clerk about the weather, and they can have the cash in your hand or let you know it's invalid, in seconds. The *ONLY* reason to force it to take days is to physicly mail it to a clearing house that simply does the same job aforementioned, at a snail's pace, in order to give the bank a few days of earning interest on the funds without having to pay YOU for having done so.
So refuse anything other than cash, and don't ship it anywhere until they've sent the cash for both the purchase AND the shipping. It can't get any fekking easier.
The USA is currently enjoying WHAT?
He claims "... average download and upload speeds in 2023 of around 34 Mbps and 8.5 Mbps, respectively. This is about the same as in the USA today." and I'd like to know where the HELL he's getting those figures from.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Mr. Wheeler cited figures that put the average American's "broadband" at less than *Ten* MB/s, and near zero for anything higher. Sure there's places where Fiber is available, but those are statistical blips in a flatline of capability.
As anecdotal evidence, I'm currently stuck at *Three* MB/s because my ISP (ComCrap) can't be arsed to improve their lines in the area to sustain their vaunted "50MB/s Blast!" service tier. They tried to give that tier to me, and I had to go back to my old/current tier because their own modem kept dropping signal from Ping time outs. Why was it dropping? Because the line would saturate, the modem take a dump, and have to reset itself before reestablishing a connection. Average bandwidth of under *ONE* MB/s because most of the time it was resetting rather than connected. Go back to 3MB/s and suddenly I have a sustained & stable internet connection.
So the claim that us American's are currently enjoying an average of 35MB/s? I'm not sure where he's getting that figure, unless he's cherry picking his data, because nobody in this area of town can get anything more than a *tenth* that speed without paying extortionate rates for the "priveledge". And I'm right outside "Silicon Valley" where bandwidth is as (supposedly) available as hookers & beer. Damn it, you can keep the beer, but I want my bandwidth! (I'm too close to San Fransisco to trust the hookers.) *Cough* I'll get my hat...
Gartner is, as usual, smoking crack.
Any business with an IT department worth a damn will require any new software, be it an individual application or the whole operating system, to be validated by an exhaustive battery of compatability & stability tests before being implemented. That testing has, can, and may always take YEARS to complete, and trying to rush it just ends in disaster. So for a business to go from Win7 to Win9 will require said testing to make sure the OS will be up to the task, to determine what, if any, hardware upgrades will be required to run it effectively, and that all the software they currently rely upon will accurately, continuously, reliably, stabily run upon it. And if that takes so long that MS EOL's the thing before said testing is complete, the company has to start all over again on the newly released OS, at which point the testing cycle starts all over again.
So if a company takes ~5 years to validate & certify the OS to do what they need & run what they need it to run, only to have MS EOL the sucker before they can deploy it, that means the company won't bother to make the transition because they're going to have to start that testing cycle all over again with the next release. So a Win7 to Win9 jump would only be financially viable IF and ONLY if MS agrees not to EOL the damned thing before people get to validate, certify, and deploy it in the first place.
It's kind of difficult to justify all the costs inherent in that task, only to try & justify them all over again before you're finished.
TL;DR: We had over a decade of XP to work out all the bugs, get it working, and make sure all our stuff worked on it like we needed it to. MS needs to make sure we'll have that same kind of time on Win7 and beyond, else everyone will go broke trying to keep up with MS' artificial upgrade pace.
Raise your hand if surprised...
*Tumbleweed rolls past*
*Cheesy "Ghost Town" music*
Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller?
It was the exact same situation with Comcast strangling Netflix traffic. Use your raw Comcast bandwidth & the video won't play worth crap, but open a VPN to Netflix and !BAM! you were watching the full HiDef stream without buffering.
Verizon strangling Netflix traffic, claiming it's everyone *BUT* Verizon's fault, yet if you visit Netflix via your raw Verizon bandwidth the video plays like crap, and that VPN unleashes the full stream without buffering.
Even the *BLIND GUY* can see that Verizon (and Comcast) is full of utter shite, and deserves to be taken out & shot for the lie.
I'm paying for $X bandwidth. It doesn't matter where I choose to go, you'd damn well better deliver AT LEAST that level of bandwidth. If the other server can't send it that fast, fine, but don't tell me it's the other server's fault when a simple VPN over the same connection proves you lying out your arse. Give me my fekkin bandwidth that I pay for, or don't be surprised when I decide to turn into an Insane Clown & run you over repeatedly with a MiniCooper. I'll charge your Next Of Kin extra for the Cackling & Cleaning.
Considering I regularly shave my testicles with a Weed Whacker (it's tingly!), I fail to see how either of your suggestions would result in anything more severe than a rather pleasant scratching of an itch...
Don't mind me, I'm Clinicly Insane, in need of more Caffeine, and just got through reading about how peanut butter and pickle relish can be used to create WMD's... Google Is Your Friend. *CaCkLe*
That's not anger, that's me being polite, calm, & rational...
*Anger* would be me resting in a well shielded Sniper's Perch, .50Cal rifle on it's bipod, picking off Verizon C-level executives while singing "One little, Two little, Three little corpses... Four little, Five little, Six little corpses... Seven little, Eight little, Nine little corpses... Ten little corpses, now I gotta reload."
Now if you'll pardon me, I have to go remove myself to an "undisclosed location" before the ThreeLetterAgencies arrive to take me in for questioning. Mister Orwell wuzza Prophet, and "1984" was His bible.
*Runs away cackling in insane glee, gibbering about microwaved pelican toejam*
Verizon can STFU & FOAD, Kthxbai.
Their "nickel & dime" billing rapes it's customers for every penny we have, and they claim it's all because of the taxes, fees, and surcharges they have to pass along to the customer. We all know that's a metric FekTon of bollocks, since everything except the *Tax* is just made up shite they tack on to inflate the bill.
Their wireless (Cellular) service sucks rancid regurgitated hamster feces, and that's in the spots where you can get a signal at all. They claim to have the largest network, but if that's so, that net has the largest *holes* in it as well. I should not be able to change phones, change *CITIES*, and still never get more than a second of five bars on the Signal Strength, given I went from the State Capital to the outskirts of "Silicon Valley". If neither place has the coverage to get me more than a pair of bars on a good day, what's that say for their (lack of) coverage out in the boonies?
They refuse to maintain their landline copper, even though it's required by law for them to do so, and try to replace it with wireless services that don't cover a tenth the area, aren't available *at all* in power outages, and cost exponentially more per month for crappier service. (See New York's debaucle as an example.) Or them trying to force one California town to pay to upgrade the Verizon infrastructure, even though it's *Verizon's* responsibility to do so, all so the residents of the town could have cell coverage after the storms. It took a lawsuit by the County Government to get Verizon to get their heads out of their arse, repair the damaged transmission towers, and restore service... at which point Verizon doubled everyone's bill with various "fees & surcharges" (not Taxes) as punishment.
Verizon can't be bothered to release software updates to it's customers in a timely manner, and whatever software version the phone was sold with, you can pretty much rest assured it'll *never* get updated... Ever. Which is why it's amazing to hear they're selling devices with Android 4.4 KitKat, but that none of their *OTHER* devices will get 4.4 any time soon (if ever) because they haven't finished validating it yet... Hell, it's not like they're still selling devices with Android 2.x on them or anything, right? /Sarcasm (Hint, they are, and despite those devices being listed as "OTA update capable", being over a year old, and waaaaay past time for such updates, Verizon still refuses to DO so and bring those devices to anything more recent.)
So we're supposed to believe that it's *NOT* Verizon's fault that the connection to Netflix sucks? When those same customers can try on a raw connect with a result of crap, or open a VPN to Netflix & suddenly get the ability to watch full HD streams without buffering? Uh huh, pull the other one, it's got bells on.
No, Verizon can just Shut The Fek Up, Fek Off And Die, and Die In A Fire. I'd like to see them taken out to a bog, dropped in heads first, and held there until they stopped struggling, but the Bog would complain about the infection, disease, and mortal insult of being forced to touch the slime that is Verizon.
Damn it, you beat (HA!) me to it...
I was (sex) only going (sex) to post (sex) a similar (sex) comment about (sex) how I (sex) didn't believe (sex) that we (sex) think about (sex) sex (sex) every seven (sex) seconds... I (sex) think (sex) it (sex) might (sex) be (sex) a (sex) bit (sex) more (sex) frequent (sex) than (sex) that...
*Pure (sex), Sweet (sex), And (sex) Innocent (sex) Grin*
"Traditional" doesn't mean what you think it means.
Quoting the article: Forcing the desktop view instead of the traditional Tile apps view will present a more traditional desktop, making the transition to Windows 8.1 Update 1 smoother.
"Traditional Tile apps view"? It's not traditional, it was introduced in Win8. That's not traditional, that's a new "feature" (so sayeth MS) that the rest of the world considered absolute crap.
A *Traditional* view would be the desktop as it had been since Win95 up through Win7. Being able to Alt+Tab through multiple applications without having to jump through hoops to figure out on which UI the damned things were located. Traditional would have been leaving the damned UI alone & just making it faster, more secure, and offering *CHOICES* instead of making *Demands*. See, giving us the Choice of a Classic (traditional) UI or their new one on first run of the machine, giving us the choice to switch between them if *WE* wanted to, giving us the choice of how to run our stuff rather than forcing us to try & find where you've hidden it, giving us the CHOICE of a Classic Menuing System from which to find the controls we need to get our work done... THAT would have been Traditional.
Instead MS rammed an absolute Cluster Fuck down our throats, removed elements of the UI we've relied upon since Win95, and decided to take away our choices. Wrong move. You take away our choice, you take away our willingness to pay you money to rape us for the "privilege" of using that SNAFUBAR of an OS you call Win8.
I'm on Win7 and at least I can get my work done. Trying to use Win8 on a desktop (read Traditional) machine without a touch screen (read "not traditional") interface is so fucking screwed up it boggles the mind. "Takes a bit of getting used to" is such a bald faced understatement it makes me wonder how much MS paid you to write that tripe. You want to find out how long it takes to "get used to"? Try using Win8.x *While Blind*. You can just cram those "hot corners", "charms", and *no longer traditional* UI elements RIGHT up your ass, because you won't have a fucking clue how to navigate what had been a relative constant since Win95.
Did I like Win95? No, I hated it at first until I got used to it. And when I switched to Win98 the UI was familiar enough to make the transition easy. Switching to XP was a bit of a step, but the UI was still familiar enough to make the transition a step rather than a jump. Going from XP to 7 was a PITA as far as Ribbons go, but otherwise we could find stuff, get stuff done, and earn our pay without needing a month of retraining just to stand a snowball's chance in hell. But the switch from Win7 to Win8? That wasn't a mere "step", that was closing your eyes & taking a running leap out the top floor window of a skyscraper & trying to learn to fly before you kissed the pavement.
No, Win8 in *NO* way has any Traditional aspects to it. The only thing even remotely the same was the Windows name. "Where do I want to go today?" I want to go back to the XP UI so I can get shit done, you dumb fucks.
(My appollogies for all the cursing, but I've been trying to use a Win8 laptop while my Win7 system is being repaired, and it's a fucking miracle I haven't taken a backpack nuke to MS HQ to show them *EXACTLY* how much fun I've been having.... *InsaneCackle*)
That analogy isn't applicable. An ambulance chasing lawyer is still a Practicing Entity. A slimy one to be sure, but they're still practicing law, going out & getting clients, and finding/building cases to prosecute.
The NPE would be a jackass straight out of law school trolling the hospital Emergency Rooms looking for accident victims, and suing them for violating their patent on bleeding to death from massive internal damages.
These guys are trying to sue over MAC addressing, as if they invented the damned thing & are owed a bazillion bucks for their work. They didn't invent a damned thing, they managed to get a patent on something "...on a computer/network/internet", and are now suing the crap out of a major corporation as a way to earn some cash. MAYBE I could cut them some slack IF they had actually invented something novel/unique, had been trying to market it (I.E. make money trying to sell it), and suddenly found Apple had swiped their design. But that's not the case. Not even close.
Thus I consider them crusty underwear stripes on a diseased corpse... No offense to the corpse.
Dear Judge. Can I call them scum sucking assclowns?
How about Fuckwits? Social Shit Stains? Leeches On Humanity? Wastes of Oxygen? Poster Children for Retroactive Abortion? Dickheads? Dipshits? Assholes? Dingleberry munching feces belchers? Sniper Targets?
They're "Non Practicing Entities", but no matter how hard & long you polish that fucker, it's still a diseased lump of shit that deserves to be flushed down the toilet.
Very well said. *Applause*
Don't put all your eggs in one basket. You won't have any eggs left when that fat arsed drunken prat plonks down in the seat beside you & turns the basket into a sombrero.
We have RAID for a reason, we have multiple site DR plans for a reason, we use multiple drives from multiple vendors and multiple batches on multiple dates to make sure that no defect in one production run of a drive will hit all the drives in the RAID at the same time. We use Tape and HDD and BlueRay and even *Paper Tape* to make sure that we have multiple copies of critical data in as many different formats, in many different geographical locations, so if one format/location gets nuked, we've got others to try & recover from.
Putting your entire business "in the cloud" is perfect... if you don't want it to be YOURS anymore after the shite hits the fan.
A cheaper solution...
Take the Patent Troll out front of the courthouse, describe their Crimes Against Humanity, then put bullets through their heads. Repeat it for the people/company(ies) in prosecuting the issue, including Councel, and then mulch the corpses into the nearest compost heap.
Do this for all Patent Trolls, their legal team, and keep doing it until there's none left to infect the populace.
Samuel Clements ("Mark Twain") said to kill all the lawyers, so why not add Patent Trolls to the hit list?
That sounds like American politics...
One year hand out laptops & tablets & all sorts of delightfull toys, then the next year kill all the funding to support any of it.
I volunteered at my son's 6th Grade school as their "Computer Guy" and had to spend *my own* money to get their "Computer Lab" (a bunch of tables with computers on them, huddling in their Library) up to speed. Packard Bell's with 1st generation Pentiums, 4Megs of RAM, 1Gb HD's, interconnected via 10-Base-T. Out of all the machines in the lab, *three* of them worked, but would overheat so fast it made them pointless to turn on. Disassemble them all, clean out, max out the Ram in each, install Ethernet LAN instead, and reimage with Win XP instead of 95a. Finally get all the systems up & running, locked down so they can access only the specific sites approved by the Principle, and spend the rest of my time "putting out fires" so to speak.
The next year my son moved to a new school, and I landed a full time job too far away to permit me to come back on my lunch hour to remain as their Computer Guy. The District had the money to buy the school all those systems with a promise to support them in the future, but then the funding vanished & so did the promised support. If it weren't for me volunteering to do it for free, I'm certain those machines would still be gathering dust & the occasional fingerprints, because the school didn't have the budget to afford such luxuries as a Computer Support Tech of their own.
Fast forward to last year. I heard that the Computer Guy whom volunteered after me managed to get Intel to cough up all new machines for the school, replacing the ones in the Lab as well as adding ones to each & every classroom. Great! Except he, too, was a volunteer & they couldn't afford to pay to retain him, so the end of the school year was the end of their free support. Those machines have essentially gone the way of those original Packard Bell's I'd supported all those years ago. No money to pay for support means that when they crash, that's it. Nobody at the school is Tech Savvy enough to fix them, they can't afford to get them fixed, and the District parrots "There's no money in the budget" line every time...
All while the School District SuperAttendant takes District-paid-for "fact finding tours" to tropical locations to ascertain how to better outfit the schools under their control. *Spits in disgust*
So NSW handing out all that shiny kit back in '07, then killing off the funding to support it a decade later? Sounds like American PolitiShit to me. =-(
A simpel Ping+TraceRoute solves it.
All anyone has to do is run a standard Ping & TraceRoute between a Verizon customer & Netflix. Netflix can make the same P+T in the other direction. If every node in the route shows 1 or 2 millisecond pings right up until it enters a Verizon controlled node, then suddenly slams into 10 or 20MS pings, the culprit is clear...
And useable as evidence in a Court of Law as proof of Netflix's claims that it's Verizon's fault.
Verizon would have to provide similar P+T logs that showed it was everyone *EXCEPT* them, otherwise the Court would have to look at Netflix's logs, realize it's as "in black & white" as it can get, and bitch slap Verizon.
I'll go grab the popcorn. =-D
A way to nip spam in the bud...
It won't do much good for spam you're already receiving, but any future sources of spam will be easy to identify the source of which & deal with appropriately.
When a site demands your email address, go ahead & give it to them, but alter it so as to indicate where it was used. For example, Gmail allows the use of $YourRealEmailUserName "+$StringOfOtherCharactersWithNoSpaces" at Gmail.com... So if your address is normally JohnSmith (at) Gmail.com, modifying it to JohnSmith+AmazonDotCom (at) Gmail.com will still deliver the email to you, but is immediately identifiable as to where you gave it (Amazon.com).
From that point on, any time you get email to JohnSmith+AmazonDotCom, you know Amazon is the one from where the email address was used. If you tell Amazon to stop contacting you & you continue to get email from them, you *know* it's from them & can take appropriate action. Be it a simple auto-bounce-and-delete email rule to shunt it to various Abuse(at) email accounts, the company's CEO's personal contact address, or your Lawyer.
The best part is, if you start getting spam to that address and it's not directly from the place where you used it, for example getting emails from a Dating Site when the address was used at a Home Improvement site, you know *exactly* whom sold your address. Want to sue that company? You have proof they're the source. Want to never get ANY email from that specific email address? Add "JohnSmith+AmazonDotCom" to an auto-perma-delete Rule & watch your inbox drop to more reasonable levels.
Most email hosting services such as Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and the like allow such alteration of the email address as an Alias. It may be in the form of $String.$YourRealStuff, or $YourRealStuff.$String, or even something else, so it's in your own best interest to find out. Start using those alias' in your daily use of the web. If the site where you're registering doesn't accept the alias, then that's a big Red Flag Warning that they probably won't honour any opt out settings either, so it's in your own best interest to not give them your real data in the first place. That's when you either give them fake address info ("YouSuck(at)$TheirOwnDomain") or use a temporary email service.
The end result is a constant record of where you've used your email address, indicated by the $String data (like "AmazonDotCom"), and the ability to filter, redirect, or delete entirely anything to that specific $String. If $Company wants my address, they get $MyRealStuff+$Company (at) Gmail and I don't worry about if they spam the hell out of me or not. If they try, I set my client to auto-permanently-delete that $String, and *POOF*, no more spam from that particular source. Which also has the added benefit of letting me know never to do business with that company again.
I hope they listen...
...but the Realist in me says they'll ignore all us mere peons in favor of their Corporate Overlords & Masters.
I mean, just because the public got in nearly Sixty-Five THOUSAND comments before crashing the FCC's comment system, the majority of which probably amounted to "Keep Net Neutrality! No ''Fast Lanes''! F*$ Comcast!", and demanding Wheeler's head on a spike. The FCC admits publicly that it's the largest public response they've *EVER* had, so The Public's Opinion on this should matter, right?
The Optamist sees all those comments & burbles happily "Net Neutrality is a done deal! We've won!"
Pessamists see the fact that Wheeler's still at the helm & wonder how badly he's going to run the ship into the rocks.
Realists know the comments won't amount to shit, Wheeler will do as Ordered, and not only will the WORLD get fucked over in the process, but we can start ordering lube in bulk for the inevitable raping we're about to receive.
We tried using WingedMonkies before...
...but then the shit started to fly & it all went downhill from there.
That's the last time we invite Management to a Marketing meeting.
ZOMG! I'm not on $TrendySocialMediaSiteOfTheNanosecond!
Good. I don't want to be. I prefer having friends whom aren't Attention Whoring Drama Queens whom feel the need to regurgitate their every bodily function & misfired mental synapse to the world. I like going to TheBigBlueRoom, frolicking in TheEvilSunlight, and breathing unfiltered oxygen that doesn't taste of Server Refrigerants.
So I send things via email & SMS, and that means you can't DataMine it for marketing & monetization? Oh boo-fucking-hoo. Good. I don't want your ads anyway. I use a Hosts file to block your site, deny cookies by default, and make sure to scrub those headers so the only thing you know about me is that I arrived on a Windows machine with IE. Beyond that, you don't need to know where I've been, what link I used to get there, load a billion beacons & webbugs, nor any of the other exabytes of other slimy crap you try to gather information about me without my explicit permission to do so.
If I'm ordering something from you, then you get the data *I* feel like sharing, but even that will be given in such a way as to make identifying where it came from obscenely easy should it find it's way into your third party affiliates' hands. Or did you think my name was really "AmazonDotCom ThatBigCommerceSiteThatStartsWithA"?
I'll stick to using Copy+Paste, dropping it into Notepad, scrubbing it for any tracking crap, then C+P'ing the results to an email. It gives me the chance to share it with my friends, and make it so they can (if they like) visit your site for more info, but NOT give you any idea of how they got there or why. And that's the way we like it.
*Shakes a palsied fist* Now get off my Internet Lawn! =-)p
Wow, what a piece of shite.
For the money they're asking, I'd point out that a resolution that was beaten by a 5 year old LCD wasn't fekking good enough, and they'd better install something approaching a 4K range instead. I mean, FFS there are *E.Book Readers* with better resolution screens, and they cost all of USD$300! For this price, tear off that POS & give me something that doesn't suck arse like a nuclear powered hooker...
I'll grant that the selection of ports on the unit itself is nice, but given how large the beast is, why bother with a dock at all? Considering how few ports it offers, just incorporate them into the workstation itself - it's not like you don't have the bloody room for them. Hell, you could put ALL the ports along the ass end of it & STILL have room for a Rugby match!
The inclusion of a BR drive but no BR Player software is just a load of bollocks. For the money I'd be spending, you can install that bastard right the fek now. If I have to install a third party application to fix a flaw you not only know about but don't GAF about enough to fix, then I'm deducting the cost of that software from the bill for the workstation. You're offering a machine with a USD$1K install of Adobe, yet you can't afford to add in the USD$100 BR Player so we can fekking USE the drive we're paying for? What brand of crack are you smoking?
That's not a battery, that's a poor excuse for a waste of space. Sure the machine draws a lot of juice, what with that CPU, GPU, and plethora of ports, but HP knew that from the start & should have designed a battery that could keep it running for at least the time it takes to drag my paving stone to an outlet. Damn it, an under 2 hour run time? Holy shit, I've heard of screwing the pooch, but this is the first time I've seen a company BOAST about doing it!
*Shaking head in disgust*
Crappy screen, crappy battery, crappy drivers, lack of basic program to cover included hardware, all for HOW much money? No thanks, I think I'll visit Google & do some comparison shopping at the other bazillion vendors whom sell a better thought-out product.
Just don't rely on Verizon to help sell them.
I went to my local "Verizon HQ" store (supposedly the main regional store with the largest selection, most knowledgeable staff, most services, etc) and asked to be shown the most recent Lumia of the moment. This was either one or two models ago (I can't remember which one), and while Verizon assured me whole heartedly over the phone that there would be a staff member there "fully versed in the product", it slammed face-first into the wall of Reality once I arrived.
Not only was the staff member (a manager) unfamiliar with the phone, they were unable to navigate the menus to find the features I had *specificly* asked the phone rep about. After nearly an hour of them fat fingering & fumbling about, they put it down & tried to steer me to another device. I'd gone there to purchase the new $180 Lumia WP8 flagship, and they tried to steer me to a $200 Feature phone instead. Because they could find the buttons on the higher priced crappy phone.
This from a Regional HQ & a manager about a supposedly smokingly awesome SmartPhone.
So if you want to sell gazillions of them, don't count on Verizon to help do it. They'll swear up & down on the phone that they can show you all the phone's details, but they'll end up trying to sell you something more expensive, with fewer features, from a competing manufacturer.
Way to go Verizon. Not only did you NOT make a sale that day from a customer with cash in hand, but you convinced me to seriously consider not renewing my contract when it ends in July...
I hear T-Mobile has sales staff that actually TRY to sell the customer the phone the customer asked to preview.
Seriously, how damned hard is it to find the Accessibility Options when the *Manager* of the Only Authorized Carrier, with access to the tech sheet, user manual, & Marketing materials on hand with a few mouse clicks, can't get the bloody thing to work? MS claims WP8 has a Screen Reader Environment, and is "fully accessible to the Blind & visually impaired", but as far as Verizon could tell, it couldn't make a simple phone call...
Brilliant move Verizon. I wonder how many Lumia's you didn't sell because you were too incompetent?
"Politicians Waste $240M in TaxPayer Cash. Government wants to know..."
"...why they got caught?"
I don't even live there and it depresses the hell out of me. My own State is ethicly, morally, and financially bankrupt to the tune of $380B, and yet it's *Oregon* whom gets trounced for wasting a "mere" quarter of a billion? Chin up Oregon, at least you're not California.
(Lord knows I wish I weren't here.)
Can we just pry Southern California off at the San Andreas Fault, shove it into the ocean, and let the sharks eat Los Angeles? Please? Would anyone *really* miss Hollywood & it's ilk?
*Hangs head in disgust*
Raise your hand if you're surprised...
*Tumbleweed rolls by*
Hello, is this thing on?
I take that as a No.
First Mozilla decides to drop ads in the opening page for first time installers, then it decides to cuddle up to Adobe. What's next, handing over the code to Microsoft for "enhancement & efficiency improvements"?
Security through Absurdity!
I run Windows 0.1Alpha on a copy of IBM DOS 1.1Beta, getting online via a modified Zmodem protocol on a Joystick Port connected Accoustic Coupler attached 300Baud modem, surfing on a pre-Alpha release of a text-only browser, and NOBODY targets me anymore!
Now if you'll pardon me, I've got to go run Windows Update *AGAIN*. I ran it an hour ago, but the icon is flashing that there's another one to apply...
I think I'll pass if it's all the same...
If I wanted a visual guide to the contents of the "food" served at McDonalds, I'd just ask to take a tour of the nearest one for free.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go take a shower & scrub off my flesh with a pad of steel wool & a bucket of lye; just the THOUGHT of cockroaches makes my bits itch.
*Cat gagging noises*
I tried to test this, but it didn't work...
I grabbed a bag of M&M's and tried to plot the number of times each colour appeared in the bag, but I kept losing count. I'd get half way through the bag, my fingers would get sticky from the sugar, I'd try to lick them clean, & end up passed out from the chocolate high. Can someone else give it a try & post their results? I'll check back after I recover from the sugar coma. =-)p
Common Carrier will nip this in the bud.
Reclassifying the Internet as a Public Utility will then force companies like AT&T, Comcast, & Verizon to actually start being competitive for a change. If the only part of the network they provide is the "Last Mile" (utility pole to home), then the communities can roll out their own high capacity infrastructure, and the ISP has to compete on price/services/quality.
If Comcast tries to throttle bandwidth to a level we last experienced back in the 80's & 90's, then we can simply call up a different ISP that covers the area, & vote with our wallets. As it is now, my choices are AT&T's "DSL" over POTS copper that was installed in the late 1950's & never upgraded, Comcast cable, or Verizon's cellular. AT&T and Verizon claim "full coverage" in the area, but my friends with AT&T report crappy call quality, and I can personally attest to Verizon being unable to deliver a signal strength of more than 2 out of 5 bars on a *GOOD* day. So my "choice" is Comcast, because the AT&T owned copper is too old to support DSL, which means *nobody else* can provide it either, without paying AT&T to get their heads out of their ass. Wireless internet *might* be acceptable *IF* the coverage gave a high grade, good quality, stable signal to pull from, but as it is, that's not happening. Or I can pay Comcast even MORE money a month to fix their damned cable so it provides the full 3Mbps I'm paying for, instead of barely managing ~400Kbps on a *GREAT* day.
Fuck Comcast. Make the Internet a Public Utility, reclassify the ISP as Common Carrier, and let the competition begin.
The only ones it'll hurt are the *opolies that currently strangle us for every fucking penny.
Physical buttons FTW!
As a totally blind person, the virtual keys of an On Screen Keyboard are the absolute *worst* idea ever. How are we supposed to find something we can't see? That there's no haptic feedback to let us know we've even touched a "button" at all? Much less that it was the RIGHT button, or that the phone has accepted us having pushed it? A physical button, especially one as described in the article, is easy to find without having to see it, easy to push, you know you've pushed it when the button clicks at the end of it's travel, and the phone acknowledges the push with a beep (DTMF) tone appropriate & distinctive to the button just pressed.
I currently use a Samsung Haven because it's one of the few Basic (not even "Feature" and sure as hell not "Smart") phones that has the ability to read the screen to me. I know what Menu I'm on, what Option I'm on, what keys I'm pressing, the results of that press, and it reads aloud text messages, both incoming & the ones I'm typing. It cost $40 nearly 5 years ago, and it takes a ~$400 "SmartPhone" to do the same yet inferior job? That's not progress, that's bullshit.
And you don't have to be totally blind to need such functionality either. Anyone with motive degeneration, such as Parkinson's or Muscular Distrophy, needs physical buttons in order to have the tactile feedback to aim for. Anyone with any degree of visual impairment, such as Macular Degeneration or "Old Eyes" will appreciate having a phone that reads aloud what they may no longer be able to see all that clearly. And if a SmartPhone has a zillion fiddlybits that we can't use (camera, playing flash games, displaying slideshows of pitctures, synching to "The Cloud" for services we don't need, etc) then why should we be forced to PAY for one that does, just to get the features we need?
If my 5 year old $40 Basic Phone could do all this, then why is it so bloody hard to find a current one that can do the same? Has the world solved Disabilities & thus made such functionality unnecessary? No? Then such phones are still needed, and the ~300Million folks around the world that "only" suffer from vision impairments might appreciate having a phone that can allow them to USE the fekking thing.
So Kudos to the company for knowing that "old folks" (anyone with less than perfect motor skills, audio or visual acquity) just MIGHT want a phone that Just Works and doesn't make their lives hell with a metric fekton of "apps" that are as about as usefull as porn to the Pope.
How about fixing the UI to one that works?
I keep letting my Screen Reader Environment (SRE) read the latest versions of FF, and the only thing I can conclude is that your design team is smoking something that even Microsoft's Win8 UI team refused to tamp into their pipe.
There's a phrase I like to use for such things: Situation Normal All F@#ed Up Beyond Recognition, or SNAFUBAR.
Your UI is SNAFUBAR and until you can navigate it with the monitor turned off, you've failed at design.
No seriously, install Jaws from Freedom Scientific, load up the browser, & turn off the monitor.
If you can navigate the Fuster Cluck that is FF entirely by SRE alone, then the design is Logical, Well Thought Out, and Useable.
Until then, I'm stuck using IE while you morons take SNAFUBAR to new & ever depressing lows.
I used to like FF, but haven't in a very long time, because every time I turn around, the UI has changed, the buttons different &/or moved, the options changed &/or moved, and nothing feels the same.
Then there's the hideous roadkill mess you make of the plug in's, with compatibility breaking with every new release, and whom has the time to bother?
It ends up being a infinite game of "Install latest version, determine which plug in's work, determine which ones are broken, set notifications to favorite plug in's so I know when they work, and wait..." Only to do it all over again a few days later because you've released a new version that breaks all the plug in's *AGAIN*...
Don't waste time slapping advertisements into the mix, pull your heads out, take off the blinders, and fix the damned UI.
Once you get THAT done & the browser stable, THEN you can think about ways to make money from the thing.
Until then, your ads will themselves be broken by the very update path you foist upon the very people you want to advertise to.
Dear Broadcasters. Fek Off.
It's legal for me to have an antenna to pick up OTA content.
It's legal for me to hook up a recording device to said antenna, record the OTAC, and replay it at my leisure.
One antenna, one recording device, one customer, private performance, all legal.
All they're doing is moving the location of my antenna & recording device.
It doesn't matter if it's in my living room, bathroom, woodshed out back, outdoor privy at the end of the lot, in the trunk of my car, or on the bloody moon.
I paid for it, it's mine, and it's legal for me to do it, so what difference does it make if I decide to keep my one antenna & one recording device in my home or in their warehouse?
If it were an apartment flat & everyone had to put their antennas out in a specific spot in a communal yard (call it the "Antenna Garden"), then it's still a 1:1 relationship that's legal.
Or are you going to claim that, because it's an apartment & my roof is actually three stories above me, that I'm not allowed to deploy the antenna where it can actually receive the OTAC?
Because I've got news for you, and you're not going to like it.
It doesn't matter where on Earth I decide to situate that antenna, as long as I have permission from the property owner to do so, I can then feed that antenna's signal to my tv anywhere ELSE on Earth, and it qualifies as a 1:1 Private Performance.
It doesn't matter how I get that antenna's signal, as long as I'm the only one whom gets it.
It doesn't matter what gets done to the signal, E.G. recorded for later playback, as long as I'm the only one whom can access it as my legally authorized Private Performance.
So all that little company is doing is renting me an antenna & recording device.
It's a 1:1 antenna:recorder:person relationship, and the only difference is that the antenna isn't on my roof.
That's legal, and if it threatens your damned business model, you deserve to be put out of business.
Because if all you've got is the gimmick of trying to kill off your competition through bullshit lawsuits, I hope you die & I sure as hell won't shed a tear.
So Fek off.
Oh, those are easy to answer!
The First is what you're experiencing, complaining to El Reg about an ancient story presented on Google.
The Second is what you're acting like, complaining to El Reg about an ancient story presented on Google.
Now improve the first by pulling your head out of the second.
Ta Daaa! =-D
Too little, too late.
XP has been running for the last 13 years on hardware nearly as old.
Anyone using a copy of XP on an XP era machine knows full good & well that It Works.
If they've stuck with XP this long, especially after all the media coverage to upgrade, what do you think the chances are of them actually doing it?
Contrary to popular belief, $500 +tax +shipping isn't an inconsiderable amount of money, especially if you live on a fixed income (Pension, Disability, Minimum Wage, etc).
So being able to plonk down half a thousand for a brand spanking new computer, when the old one Just Works, is grasping at straws.
If GrandFather has to choose between refilling his arthritis medication and buying a new computer (especially if the one he's using Just Works), then the computer doesn't get the dosh.
Anyone whom has lived in a low/fixed income situation for any length of time has learned to Make Do with what you've got, especially if it Just Works.
Don't like that 19 inch Standard Definition, RCA plug sporting, Rabbit Ears antenna using, no coax connecter, television? Too bad, it works, so you can't afford to toss it out to get a new one.
Same thing goes with the computer.
If it's worked for the last 13 years, it's still working now, and you haven't got the cash to upgrade, then you don't upgrade.
And you want them to upgrade to an operating system that all their friends, family, and their personal (read Unpaid) TechSupport person has told them to avoid like the plague?
Not for a Hundred, doubtfull for Five Hundred, and "maybe" for a full thousand.
Essentially, if you *Gave Away* the computer to those whom are still using XP, then *MAYBE* they'd be willing to migrate.
And those are just the private citizens reluctant to stop using what works.
Government agencies, financial institutions, merchants' Point of Sale control software, "Advanced" Flight Control Systems (Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S., the equiv in the rest of the world) using XP to keep planes from playing bumper tag in the skies, pharmacies using it to control inventory systems & ordering systems, schools using it because they don't have the budget to upgrade nor the staff to do the job even if they could scrape up the cash, etc etc etc.
The U.K. is hounding MS to continue support for XP, because they don't want, can't afford, and can't give a good reason to "upgrade" to Win8.
The hardware still works, the software still works, and nobody wants to throw good money out the window on the off chance they'll be able to use Win8 worth a damn.
It doesn't matter if I like Win8 or not, it doesn't matter if You like it either, the General Public has spoken, and XP, even if it's ONLY *Down To* a 15% market share, is *STILL* doing better than Win8.
So what if MS is offering $100 off some crappy, overpriced, Win8 equipped machine?
They'll spend more than that $100 on retraining to use Win8, buy all new software (Office, their XP software *IF* a newer version exists), and to migrate all their data.
Unless, of course, the devices they're using with XP can even be supported under Win8.
That old Konnica DotMatrix printer that's still going strong, prints Just Fine for the needs of it's owner, and requires a Parallel Port to interface, will be a rather amusing project to get working on a current machine.
"Just buy a new one!"
Uh huh, so now they have to spend even MORE money to "modernize", only to end up not being able to do what they can currently do Just Fine on their XP machine?
GrandDad isn't going to shell out nearly a thousand dollars for a new machine, a new printer, a new scanner, a new fax machine, a new copy of Office, fresh copies of $RandomProgram, just because MS whines at them to do so.
He'll give 'em The Finger, tell 'em to shove off, and keep right on pecking on that original IBM clicky keyboard, connected via DIN plug, smacking his "newfangled" two button mouse, staring at his 15 inch 1024x768 "high resolution" CRT, and transcribing all his memoires in his perfectly functional copy of WordStar2000...
And you can pry his Lotus Notes 123 out of his cold, dead hands.
So Microsoft, you'll have to do better than this.
There's a perfectly valid reason those "hold outs" are doing it.
Because the hardware still works, the software still works, they can't afford to upgrade, and everything they've heard in the news, read in the paper, gotten in their email, and been told by their Tech Support GrandKids says Win8 is an absolute pile o' crap.
If they're already unwilling to upgrade under those conditions, do you REALLY think insulting them with a hundred dollar whine is going to change their minds?
And all it takes is a single question to derail your "upgrade":
"Whill this new machine still be running in 13 years like my old one?"
If the answer isn't a resounding yes (and made in writing), then you'll get laughed at.
"Why should I buy a new car with all those bells & whistles, when my Volvo stationwagon still runs just fine?
Sure it's cantankerous on cold mornings, but hell, so am I!"
If you're LUCKY, they'll get talked into getting a Win7 machine instead, but that STILL opens the can o' worms of having to buy all new software, new hardware, and having someone retrain them to the new UI.
Because no matter how much of that crack pipe you suck down, the "Ribbon" UI is still a dingleberry infested arse fold, and "Metro" makes the "Ribbon" look *good*.
Now if you'll pardon me, I've got an XP machine I'm currently reformatting.
It's getting Linux, & MS is getting The Finger.
*Pavlovian Geeky Drooling*
I'd name it WOPPER and ask it to play games with me.
On another note, what are all the unlabeled & undescribed Radio Buttons for between the post Text Entry Field & the Preview/Submit buttons?
Grab the person in charge of the UI & smash their head into the wall while reciting the W3C Accessibility Standards WRT improperly/unlabeled screen elements.
If you don't describe them, then anyone using a Screen Reader can't interact with them.
Fix it & I'll stop trying to tie your nipples to the back of a speeding bus, M'kay?
I'd love to get a couple.
Get a pair of them, including the full sized SD card adapter, & slip one into my laptop as "Ready Boost".
I've currently got a full sized 32Gb card in that role, & the difference without it is huge.
So going from 32 to 128 should be more than enough to give this sucker stubby little wings... and a Titan V Booster Rocket up it's arse.
The other one would go in my Audio Book player / Ebook reader / music player / digital voice recorder.
It's got a 64Gb card in it at the moment, but I'd have a LOT of fun adding another 64Gb to the mix.
A ton of AB's, EB's, & MP3's to listen to on the bus/train, while waiting in lines, or enough room to record about a week of audio?
Of course it's possible...
<Old Crotchety Bastard voice>Iiii've got a Basic Phone, and that's the way Iiiii LIKE it!</Bastard>
It's a Samsung Haven. No camera, no downloadable apps, no ring tones, no games, can't be used as a tethered modem, *nada*.
It makes & takes voice calls, sends & receives text messages, and it's built in, non upgradeable, non deleteable, "This is what it's got & that's all you get!" features include a calculator (with a maximum of 2 decimal places, & if the answer uses more than 10 digits, the phone pukes), a "tip calculator", and "Health & Wellness" selections of craptastic looped midi "songs" of "ocean waves" that sounds more like my cat frolicking in the litter box.
Check email? Not possible.
Go online? There's no Browser, no way to install one, & as previously mentioned, it can't be tethered to a computer.
(There's a MicroUSB port, but it's only for charging & doesn't include the Data connections.)
In short, it's a Basic, not even a Feature Phone.
So if you *really* want to test your ability to disconnect, stop pussy footing around & get a *completely* Basic phone.
The fact that your Nokia can do *anything* online means you've not really disconnected from anything, merely throttled it to such a degree as to make it FEEL that way.
<Shakes a palsied fist menacingly>You young whippersnappers with your fancy Features, Smart, Apps, Angry Flappy birds, ring tones, games playin', tweet makin', Self-eez snappin', instagrammy shootin', infographic makin', lolcatz surfin', GUI usin' uppity miscreants! Now get off my laaaaawn!</gibbering old coot>
Dear MS. Fek off. You owe us another decade.
Windows XP started in 2001, was still officially supported nearly a decade later, & had paid for support still available nearly 5 years after that.
Windows 7 has been out what, 2 years? and you're claiming support ends next year?
Fek that. You owe users of Windows 7 at least the same stability, dedication to support, & gratitude.
If Windows 7's nearly *FIFTY PERCENT* market share isn't proof that you need to support it, then what the hell brand of crack are you snorting off each others' bums, because it's left you so far out there that you've bid goodbye to the entire Milky Way Galaxy.
XP has ~30%, 7 has ~50%, and 8 barely broke the double digit threshold earlier.
XP has been going strong for over a decade, 7 needs to go for at LEAST that long, and 8 needs to be shot in the head like the UI abboration that it is.
Stop fekking with your customers, or we'll give you The Finger and head for greener pastures, like Apple, Android, Chrome, Linux, or even something MORE slap-in-the-face-inducing like *BeOs*.
Now pull your heads from your arse & rejoin the rest of the Real World, ok?
Your customers have spoken, they want Windows 7.
They do NOT want Windows 8.
You can polish that sucker until it outshines the sun, it's still a toxic lump of shite.
If they have to buy a whole new machine...
Then they can be persuaded to switch to a Mac or the *Nix distribution of choice.
If you have to completely retrain yourself to use Windows because WinXP is *nothing* like Win8.x, then you've already accepted relearning a new operating system & might as well add Apple & *Nix to the mix.
Once you've done that, you'll realize you can either spend the funds on having your TechSupportPerson upgrade your current machine to *Nix for a pizza & a pint, and never pay another penny to Microsoft,
Or you can pay double the cost of a typical Windows machine to get a Mac towards the same end.
Since TechSupportPerson can quite easily theme the distro to look like XP & thus ease your culture shock, why not give *Nix a try?
Except for some very specific tasks, *Nix already does everything Windows can do, and gets the job done for free.
Email client and Word Processing Productivity suite?
Got it, and it's free instead of another ~$300 for "Office UberPremium MightActuallyWorkThisTime" edition.
Browser? Got so many choices you'll wonder why Windows is so limited.
Media players? Ditto, and they're free to boot.
Watching kitten videos on YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo, etc? Not a problem, as long as you don't mind it not being in YetAnotherInternetExplorerWindow.
Tax prep? Accounting? Hobby progress keeper? Mechanical Engineering? Advanced Desk Top Publishing? You name it, *Nix has got it, and all of it is *Free*.
So if you've got to help your friends upgrade up & away from Windows XP to something modern, why not do it with style & show them the way to freedom?
I wouldn't mind having one...
...but the fact that it runs Win8 is a definite stumbling block, and the price is a deal breaker.
Let me have it with Win7 or *Nix, and reduce the price significantly, and then it becomes a good deal.
Larger keys on the keyboard, audio DSP to adjust hard to hear tones to a more hearable range, and other enhancements to make it easier for those with less-than-perfect hearing, vision, & mobility?
They deserve a serious pat on the back for making the effort, even if they've made serious missteps in the OS & pricing departments.
Ohhh... I just had an idea!
(Waits in amusement for the screams of terror to die down.)
Given their sizes, imagine a ChromeBox, an Intel NUC, and a Raspberry Pi in a side-by-side-by-side configuration, VESA mounted to the back of a monitor.
A KVM switcher box, all the other periph's on a USB hub, and you could have some serious fun.
It would be like running a triple-boot box, triple VM server, all from the same space as your monitor!
*Happy geek drooling*
Damn it, now I crave Pi.
But what would you call such a rig?
ChromeNucPi? PiNucChrome? PiNuChrome? ChromePi? ChromeNuc? NucPi?
Frankenstein? Cerberus? Bob?
I'd be interested in the I7...
...but it depends on the max RAM I could install & if it accepts a user-replaceable HDD/SSD.
Sure it may be less expensive than the NUC, but if the user can't upgrade their own RAM nor the HDD/SSD, then it's not really comparing apples to apples.
I can stuff 16Gb of RAM in the NUC, and either the largest M-SATA (for one of the original variants) or a full sized 2.5" SATA (for the newest variant).
Either way, it's a simple matter to open the NUC & fiddle with it's guts, thus making it infinitely more valuable than the ChromeBox.
But if I can get my hands on the I7 model (not bloody likely in North America), then I'd be willing to buy one just for the sake of giving one a spin.
I'd have to figure out some way of installing a Screen Reader Environment on it so I could use it, but otherwise I can envision having a lot of fun with one.
VESA mount a NUC and a CB to the back of a monitor, use a KVM switch to swap back & forth between them, and plug everything else into a USB hub for ease of access.
Need Windows for something? *Click* Ok.
Want Chrome for something? *Click* Done.
All from a combined box footprint that fits side-by-side on the back of the monitor?
Of course, as a Blind guy, I wouldn't need to spend the money on a monitor, so Neener Neener.
Note he said *Contracted* Developers.
Which means, if you didn't have a contract (signed, on paper, offline variety) then you can just go piss up a tree.
This is why the whole crowdfunded/Indiagogo/kickstarter routine is such a crap shoot: there's no guarantee that anything will ever come from it, the person with their hand out can just take the money & run, and unless you can find them to serve a Warrant, you can kiss any recourse goodbye.
Caveat Emptor, and you probably don't even have a receipt to use as proof to help talk to a lawyer.
Sure there are good ones that deserve the assistance, but finding them is akin to finding the one gold needle in the ginormous pit filled with brass coloured ones.
I hope this one turns out in a good way for everyone involved, but I won't be surprised if it flushes itself completely down the bog.
It's even worse than that......
Taken a look at your bank's ATM lately?
Want to guess what it runs on?
I'd give you a hint, but I can already see the terror in your eyes.
Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll start storing all my money in empty ammo tins beneath my bed.
There's a damn good reason XP is still in such wide use.
After so many years of having the crap kicked out of it, beating down the bugs, karate chopping virus', duck & dodging script kiddies, and generally having the kinks ironed out with a bulldozer & an attitude, it's Stable, Gets The Job Done, and is Good Enough For Gramma.
As the other poster pointed out, if installed on modern hardware with proper drivers, it's got plenty of programming chops to get Outlook, IE, YouTube, and Gramma's favorite game of (Solitaire, MineCraft, Quake, etc) running.
Not merely "running acceptably" but "faster than makes no difference".
Given XP's system requirements, putting it with a 4th generation I7, 16Gb RAM, a 2Gb Nvidia card, Gigabit LAN, and a 500Gb SSD would make it *so* fast that Gramma would probably never need another computer in her life...
Right up until she decides to start running a massively multiplayer Quake server in her sewing room.
Anyway, properly secured, fully patched & updated, on even "lackluster" hardware, an XP machine is "Good Enough" for the nearly 30% of the population.
That scares the crap out of Microsoft, because if those people are willing to hang on tooth & nail to such an "outdated" operating system as XP, MS had better make DAMN sure their (currently available version) Windows is up to snuff.
If it's not, if Gramma has to choose between relearning everything she knows from XP to Win8/8.1, she may just decide to buy a Mac instead.
It's already going to require a new machine, learning an entirely new mode of computing, and if that's the case, the switch will be just as easy to make from Win8 as it would be to a Mac or even Linux if her GrandSon TechGeek can make it look enough like XP to make the transition as painless as possible.
Wanna guess which distro she'll be getting when XP is done?
Whom would buy a Windows laptop.
Anyone whom needs Assistive Technology (AT) in order to use it in the first place.
As a Totally Blind computer user, I'm required to utilize a Screen Reader Environment (SRE) in order to have access to the machine.
If the machine doesn't have, or can't be equipped with, a SRE, then it's not a computer, it's a boat anchor.
The best SRE for Windows is a program called Jaws by Freedom Scientific.
It's expensive as hell, but it gets the job done.
There's the free alternative of NVDA, but the learning curve on it makes the one for Jaws feel like the difference between learning to crawl & free climbing a reverse-incline cliff face covered in Fullerene based lube.
For *Nix there are various distros like Adrienne Knoppix & the Vinux Project, as well as SRE's like Orca & EasySpeak, but they're still "iffy" at best, and require not only learning the SRE, but the entire OS beneath it.
Since the last time I used *Nix was ~5 years ago on a copy of Ubuntu, my memory of how to use *nix is a bit hazy.
So making it a *double* learning curve is a serious draw back.
Apple machines have built in SRE, but the cost of the damned machines is obscenely prohibitive.
Seriously, when I can buy a 4th gen I5, 8Gb RAM, 500Gb SSD Thinkpad L440 for $850 running Win7Pro64, or spend nearly twice that in order to get even a lackluster Apple laptop, the choice is an easy one to make.
Sure Apple's SRE may be better, but not enough to justify spending nearly an extra $1K to get it.
So in reality, what choice does a Disabled person have?
If we need AT in order to use the machine, and the best AT solution is on a Windows machine, our options are rather limited.
Sure I'd love a *nix system that Just Worked Out Of The Box.
But in the ~5 years I've been searching for one, I haven't found it yet.
Get those *nix Gurus to get their act together & make the Adrienne/Orca/Vinux style AT bits work properly, and then I'll have a choice.
But for now I'm stuck on Windows and loathe every damned moment.
Can I feel smug now?
I don't trust anything in "the cloud" to be anything but vapourware.
Do I have physical control over the files? No? Then they're no longer "my" files.
Can I dictate whom has access to "my" files? In theory yes, in practice those files aren't under my physical control, so anyone with a ScriptKiddy mentality & a few extra cpu cycles can sit attacking those files until they've broken any encryption they may have been secured with.
If the site where they're stored goes down, I can't access my files for a few hours?
If the site goes away, do they send me all my files on a USB stick?
I'll take my local client, locally stored files, my physical security over my own files, my own encryption over those files, and my ability to access them any damned time I want/need, NOT just when I've got an internet connection, access to a third party site, and that site decides to LET me access them, ThankYouVeryMuch.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go laugh myself silly over this latest Microsoft imitation of the Fuck Up Farie.
How secure is it?
If it can be opened legally by a person with the authority to open the door, then it can be opened illegally by anyone able to hack the WiFi signal to the door lock, forge an authorization token for the room, and be inside looting all your stuff without ever triggering security.
At least with a physical room key they either have to steal the key, duplicate the key, or get their hands on a master key to gain entry.
With a Key Card entry system, they've got to obtain a card, a reader to program the card, & hope it works when they approach the door (else they'll slam headlong into the door when it refuses to open due to a wrong code, which also notifies Security).
Sure it's convenient, but how are they going to secure it against some schmuck using WireShark to sniff the transmitted packets, breaking the "encryption" of "password12345", and using that data to gain entry to every room in the place?
Maltitol is evil incarnate."
"Excessive consumption may cause laxative effect in sensitive individuals."
That warning must appear on all American products containing Maltitol for a damn good reason.
If your body is sensitive to Maltitol then "excessive consumption" may be as little as "any at all" much less a single serving.
And the effects can be quite gruesome, painfull, disgusting, debilitating, depressing, & amusing to anyone listening outside the lavatory door...
Right up until the smell slaps them in the face & ignites their flesh.
Various confectionaries in the States use it as a sugar replacement, essentially making them entirely off limits to anyone whom can't handle the effects of Maltitol.
Haribo's products in Europe use actual sugar, & their sugar free products tend to use other ingredients than Maltitol.
But the stuff they produce for Americans as "normal" (with sugar) uses processed sugar, & the "sugar free" uses stuff like Maltitol.
As someone whom is unable to eat that substance, I can attest from first hand experience that it is NOT fun.
Sitting on the toilet feeling like you're trying to pass the International Space Station through the eye of a needle is not something to wish on anyone.
So while I don't doubt that such reactions are possible & even probable, since even a Haribo "single serving mini bag" worth of Maltitol would cause some people to feel like Mount Vesuvius were erupting out their bowels, anyone stupid enough to consume an entire "restaurant size" bag of the stuff deserves what they get.
And I agree with the other commenter whom said that most of the reviews were probably just trolls.
The AOL "Me Too!" crowd enjoy dogpiling on such things, even if they have to make it up to do so.
Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go send another bag of the little shits to the WBC to show them how much I care.
- Top Gear Tigers and Bingo Boilers: Farewell then, Phones4U
- Breaking Fad 4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
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